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					                                                                                                                                                           HS 737




Sweet Corn Production in Florida1
G. J. Hochmuth, D. N. Maynard, C. S. Vavrina, W. M. Stall, T. A. Kucharek, P. A. Stansly, T. G. Taylor,
S. A. Smith, A. G. Smajstrla2

Scientific Name: Zea mays var. rugosa                                                                                 Pollination

Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)                                                                  Sweet corn is wind pollinated, i.e., wind is the agent
                                                                                        responsible for transfer of pollen from the tassel to the silk
Origin: Like bean, potato, tomato, pepper, and pumpkin,                                 to effect the pollination process. Isolation of genetic types,
sweet corn is of New World origin. However, wild corns                                  just as isolation of yellow and white corns of a single
have not been found. It is believed that corn that evolved                              genetic type, must occur for them to produce their desired
from ancestral types in South America was later                                         characteristics. Isolation strategies include:
domesticated in Central America.
                                                                                        •     Distance: about 300 feet should be sufficient
Related Species: Sweet and popcorn are the only                                               isolation to avoid cross-pollination.
members of the Poaceae family which are classed as
vegetables. Nonetheless, this family is one of the most
important in providing human sustenance, either directly                                •     Time: Maturity differences of at least 14 days which
or as feed for domestic animals, with grains such as wheat,                                   can be accomplished by variety selection or successive
rice, oats, rye, and corn or indirectly as hay and forage                                     plantings should be sufficient to avoid cross-
grasses for domestic animals. Sugar cane is also an                                           pollination of genetic types.
important member of this family.
                                                                                             For mulched crops with subsurface irrigation,
                                                                                        broadcast all P2O5, micronutrients and 20 to 25% N and
                                Varieties                                               K2O in bed prior to mulching. For subsurface irrigated
                                                                                        crops, band remaining N and K2O in groove 2 to 3 inches
     A description of major sweet corn types currently                                  deep in bed center. For sprinkler irrigation, broadcast all
available is given in Table 1. Supersweet (shrunken-2)                                  fertilizer in bed.
sweet corn varieties that are in commercial use in Florida
are given in Table 2.




1.      This document is HS 737, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural
        Sciences, University of Florida. Date first printed: June 1995. Date revised: February 1999. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2.      G. J. Hochmuth, professor, D. N. Maynard, professor, C. S. Vavrina, associate professor, W. M. Stall, professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; T. A.
        Kucharek, professor, Plant Pathology Department; P. A. Stansly, associate professor, SWFREC-Immokalee; T. G. Taylor, professor, S. A. Smith, economic
        analyst, Food and Resource Economics Department; A. E. Smajstrla, professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute
        of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Vegetable Production Guide for Florida is edited by D. N. Maynard, professor,
        GCREC-Bradenton, and G. J. Hochmuth, professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. It is not a guarantee or warranty of the products
named, and does not signify that they are approved to the exclusion of others of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on
the manufacturer's label.



     The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational
     information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin.
     For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative
     Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean
Sweet Corn Production in Florida                                                                                            Page 2


  Table 1. Description of major sweet corn types currently available.

  Sugary                         Full complement of sugary                        1 to 3              Normal

  Sugary Enhanced, also          Full complement of sugary (su)                   3 to 5              Slight to moderate or even
  "Modified" and "EH"            and half or full complement of                                       high levels
                                 sugary enhancer (se)

  Supersweet, also "Ultra,"      No sugary (su); full complement                 5 to 10              High
  "Extra" sweet                  of shrunken-2 (sh2)

  Synergistic, also "Sweet-      Full complement of sugary (su);                  3 to 5              Moderate
  Gene Hybrid"                   and half complement of
                                 shrunken-2 (sh2)

  Improved Supersweet            Half complement of sugary (su);                 5 to 10              Very high
                                 and full complement of shrunken-
                                 2 (sh2)

  ADX                            No sugary (su) or shrunken-2                    5 to 10              Moderate to high
                                 (sh2) genes; full complement of
                                 ae, du, and wx genes
  1
   These values are approximations provided for comparison among types. Actual storage time will depend on variety, cultural
  practices, and postharvest handling methods.


  Table 2. Some supersweet (shrunken-2) sweet corn varieties that are grown in Florida arranged by kernel color.

                  Yellow                                      White                                          Bicolor

  Challenger                                Aspen                                          Bi-Time

  Primetime                                 Pegasus                                        Caberet

  Prime Plus                                Snow Bird                                      Dazzle

  Summer Sweet 7210                         Summer Sweet 7711W                             Starship

  Summer Sweet 7630                         Summer Sweet 8101W                             Summer Sweet 8102BC

  Summer Sweet 7710                         Vail

                                                                             For organic soils, band all P2O5 and micronutrients
               Seeding and Planting
                                                                        at planting. Broadcast all K2O. Supplemental N at rate of
                                                                        40 lb/A might be needed in cool winter weather or after
    Planting dates and seeding information are given in
                                                                        leaching rain.
Table 3.
                                                                             Soil test and fertilizer recommendations for mineral
                Fertilizer and Lime                                     soils are given in Table 4. Soil test and fertilizer
                                                                        recommendations for Histosols are given in Table 5.
     For mineral soils with subsurface or sprinkler
irrigation, band all P2O5 and micronutrients with 20 to
                                                                                    Plant Tissue Analysis
25% of N and K2O at planting. Sidedress band
remaining N and K2O in one or two applications during
                                                                            Plant tissue analysis information for sweet corn is
the early part of growth cycle. N and K2O can be applied
                                                                        given in Table 6. The analysis was done when the plants
through center-pivot irrigation system at rates of 10 to 20
                                                                        were 30 inches tall, using the most recently matured leaf.
lb/A of N and K2O in several applications.




                                                                                                                       February 1999
Sweet Corn Production in Florida                                                                                                     Page 3


                        Irrigation                                          Table 3. Seeding and planting information for sweet
                                                                            corn.
     Water requirements of sweet corn (see AE 260,
Irrigation Management, Table 2) increase rapidly from                                                Planting dates
about 40% of ETo during early growth to 110% of ETo
                                                                                    North Florida                     Feb - Apr
at peak growth (see AE 260, Irrigation Management,
Table 1). Proper water management is essential during                              Central Florida                    Jan - Apr
the silking and tasseling and the ear development                                   South Florida                     Oct - Mar
periods. Water requirements may decrease to 100% of
ETo during the final week or two of growth.                                                   Seeding information

                                                                            Distance between rows (in)                 28 - 32
               Weed Management
                                                                            Distance between plants (in)               6-81

                         Atrazine                                           Seeding depth (in)                        1.0 - 1.5
                                                                            Seed per acre (lb)                         6 - 15
     Atrazine (AAtrex® 4L, AAtrex® 80W, AAtrex®
Nine-0, Atrazine 4L), 1.0 to 2.0 lb a.i. mineral, 2.0 to                    Days to maturity from seed                 64 - 90
3.0 lbs a.i. muck, preemergence. Labeled crop: sweet                        Plant population (acre)               24,000 - 32,000
corn. Controls germinating annuals. Apply to moist soil.
                                                                            1
Note label precautions of planting non registered or                          Wider rows and between plant spacings will yield
sensitive crops for at least one growing season.                            larger ears.


     Atrazine (AAtrex® 4L, AAtrex® 80W, AAtrex®
Nine-0, Atrazine 4L), 1.0 to 2.8 lb a.i. postemergence.
Labeled crop: sweet corn. Controls emerged weeds.
Apply in a minimum of 10 gal of water before weeds are
1.5 inches tall. Use lower rates when weeds are small.
Note replanting precautions listed above.




  Table 4. Soil test and fertilizer recommendations for mineral soils for sweet corn.

  Target        N        VL          L          M          H         VH           VL             L          M         H              VH
   pH         lb/A
                                              P2O5                                                          K2O

                                                               (lb/A/crop season)

    6.5        150       120        100        80          0            0         120         100           80        0              0


  Table 5. Soil test and fertilizer recommendations for Histosol soils for sweet corn, with target pH = 6.5 and N rate 0 lb/A.

                                                 P and K index and fertilizer rate

           P index                   3               6              9                   12                   15                 18

          P2O5 (lb/A)              160              120             80                  40                   0                   0

           K index                  50               80            110                  140

          K2O (lb/A)               120               60             0                    0




                                                                                                                          February 1999
Sweet Corn Production in Florida                                                                                             Page 4


  Table 6. Plant tissue analysis for sweet corn plants 30 inches tall. Dry wt. basis.

                  N         P         K        Ca        Mg         S          Fe       Mn        Zn        B        Cu       Mo

  Status                                  Percent                                              Parts per million

  Deficient     < 2.5      0.2       2.5       0.5       0.2       0.2         40        40       25       10        4        0.1

  Adequate      2.5 -     0.2 -     2.5 -     0.5 -     0.2 -     0.2 -       40 -      40 -     25 -     10 -       4-      0.1 -
  range          4.0       0.4       4.0       0.8       0.4       0.4        100       100       40       30        10       0.2

  High          > 4.0      0.4       4.0       0.8       0.4       0.4        100       100       40       30        10       0.2

  Toxic (>)                                                                                      100



     Atrazine + Oil, 1.0 to 2.0 lb a.i. + oil,                                                     EPTC
postemergence. Labeled crop: sweet corn. Controls
emerged weeds. Apply to small test plots to evaluate                           EPTC (Eradicane® 25 G, Eradicane® 6.7), 4 to 6 lb
tolerance of new hybrid corn varieties. Following mixing                  a.i. preplant incorporated. Use lower rates in light sands.
instructions listed on the label and rates of emulsifiable                Must be incorporated into soil to prevent loss of
oil or oil concentrate depending on ground or aerial                      herbicide. Thorough mixing is necessary especially in the
application methods. Apply before annual grasses are 1.5                  control of rhizomes of Bermuda grass and yellow and
inches and broadleaf weeds are 4 inches. Note replanting                  purple nutsedge.
precautions. Do not apply to breeding stock or inbred
lines of sweet corn.                                                                            Glyphosate

                        Bentazon                                              Glyphosate (Roundup®), 0.5 to 1.0 lb a.i. prior to
                                                                          crop emergence or preplanting. Labeled crop: sweet corn.
     Bentazon (Basagran®), 0.75 to 1.0 lb a.i.                            Apply as directed for cropping systems under conditions
postemergence. Labeled crop: sweet corn. Controls                         described on label. Does not provide residual weed
actively growing young broadleaf weeds. Recommended                       control.
for burndown of annual morning glory and yellow
nutsedge in corn. Consult label for weeds                                               Pendimethalin + Atrazine
controlled/weed size table. Corn is tolerant at all stages
of growth. Do not apply over 2 lb a.i. (4 pt)/acre per                         Pendimethalin (Prowl®) + Atrazine, 0.75 to 1.0 lb
season. Add a crop oil concentrate (coc) at 2 pt/acre                     a.i. mineral soils and 1.0 to 1.5 lb a.i. pendimethalin on
maximum.                                                                  muck soils plus 1.0 to 2.0 lb a.i. atrazine. Labeled crop:
                                                                          sweet corn. In Alabama, Florida and Georgia, Prowl® 3.3
                         Butylate                                         EC can only be applied with atrazine early
                                                                          postemergence. Apply from spike through 4-leaf stage,
    Butylate (Sutan® + 6.7E), 4 lb a.i. preplant                          but before weeds exceed 1 inch in height, except for
incorporated. Labeled crop: sweet corn. Controls many                     Texas panicum which must be no larger than the 2-leaf
grasses from seed. May be used at higher rates for                        stage. Prowl® alone will not control emerged weeds.
control of rhizome bermuda and Johnson grass and                          Wait at least 7 to 10 days before cultivation early
sedges (see label). Must be incorporated immediately                      postemergence treatments.
upon application. May be tank mixed with several
herbicides for additional control. Consult label for rates.                                     Metolachlor
Recommended on mineral soils containing less than 10%
organic material.                                                              Metolachlor (Dual® 8E, Dual® 25G), 1.5 to 2.0 lb
                                                                          a.i. preplant incorporated, preplant surface, preemergence
                                                                          (postdirected). Labeled crop: sweet corn. Provides good
                                                                          control of annual grasses and certain broadleaf weeds.
                                                                          Use the lower rate on light sandy soils. Use higher rate

                                                                                                                      February 1999
Sweet Corn Production in Florida                                                                                Page 5

on soils with organic matter 3% and greater. May be          cultivation will establish a height differential of corn to
used as preemergence up to 4 pt (lb/a.i.) on muck soils      target grasses. Applications of Poast® should be no
(24C Label for Florida). May be used as directed spray       higher than 10 inches up the corn stalk with corn being a
to the base of corn plants 5 inches tall until corn plants   minimum of 30 inches in height. Use a crop oil
reach 40 inches in height.                                   concentrate adjuvant. Do NOT spray over the top of the
                                                             corn. Improper applications will result in severe corn
                        Paraquat                             injury.

    Paraquat (Gramoxone® Extra), 0.56 to 0.94 lb a.i.                     Disease Management
preemergence. Labeled crop: sweet corn. Controls
emerged weeds. Apply prior, during, or after planting,           Chemicals approved for disease management in
but before corn emerges. Use a non-ionic spreader.           sweet corn are listed in Table 7.
     Paraquat (Gramoxone® Extra), 0.25 lb a.i. directed
spray. Labeled crop: sweet corn. Apply when corn is at                     Insect Management
least 10 inches tall. Arrange nozzles to spray no higher
than the lower 3 inches of the corn plant. Corn plants           Table 8 outlines the insecticides approved for use on
shorter than 10 inches may be injured and not recover.       insects attacking sweet corn.
(Corn height measured from soil surface to top of whorl.)
                                                                             Production Costs
                      Sethoxydim
                                                                 Average break-even production costs for sweet corn
     Sethoxydim (Poast®), 0.187 lb a.i. postemergence
                                                             vary among Florida's production areas. The costs for a
directed. Labeled crop: sweet corn. Directed spray
                                                             given year, 1996 - 97, are outlined for Dade County in
application of Poast® at 1 pt controls annual grasses in
                                                             Table 9 and Palm Beach County in Table 10.
corn. The use of preemergence herbicides and timely




                                                                                                          February 1999
Sweet Corn Production in Florida                                                                                          Page 6


 Table 7. Disease management for sweet corn.

         Chemical           Maximum Rate/Acre                 Minimum        Pertinent Diseases             Select Remarks
                                                              Days to
                         Application             Crop         Harvest

 Dithane® M45 or             1.5 lb             22.5 lb            7       Rusts, Helminthosporium,    Do not use crop for
 Penncozeb® WP's                                                           leaf spots                  livestock.

 Manzate® 200 or            1.2 qt               18 qt             7       Same as Dithane® M45        Do not use crop for
 Dithane® F45 FL's                                                                                     livestock.

 Maneb 75DF                  1.5 lb             18.0 lb            7       Same as Dithane® M45        Do not use crop for
                                                                                                       livestock.

 Maneb 80WP                  1.5 lb             22.5 lb            7       Same as Dithane® M45        Do not use crop for
                                                                                                       livestock.

 Manex® 4F                  1.2 qt               18 qt             7       Same as Dithane® M45        Do not use crop for
                                                                                                       livestock.

 Bravo® 500, Echo®          2.75 pt                                14      Same as Dithane® M45        Do not use crop for
 500, or Agronil®                                                                                      livestock or for crop
 FL's                                                                                                  intended for processing.

 Bravo® 720,                 2 pt                                  14      Same as Dithane® M45        Same as Bravo® 500.
 Terranil® 6L or
 Echo® 720

 Tilt®                      4 fl oz             16 fl oz           14      Same as Dithane® M45        Should be tank-mixed
                                                                                                       with a broad spectrum
                                                                                                       fungicide.

 Bravo® Ultrex               1.8 lb                                14      Same as Dithane® M45        Same as Bravo® 500.
 82.5WDG

 Bravo® Weather              2 pt                                  14      Same as Bravo® 720
 Stik

 Terranil® 90DF or           1.6 lb                                14      Same as Dithane® M45        Same as Bravo® 500.
 Echo® 90 DF

 Bravo® W75                   2 lb                                 14      Same as Dithane® M45        Same as Bravo® 500.




 Table 8. Selected insecticides approved for use on insects attacking sweet corn.

      Chemical Name           Rate per Acre              Days to Harvest                          Insects

 BT (Bacillus                    See label                     0           armyworms, beet armyworms, corn borers, fall
 thuringiensis)                                                            armyworms, loopers, southern armyworms

 Sevin®     80S(WP)             1.25 - 8 lb                    2           armyworms, chinchbugs, corn earworms, corn
 (carbaryl)                                                                rootworms, cutworms, European corn borers, fall
                                                                           armyworms, flea beetles, grasshoppers, leafhoppers,
                                                                           sap beetles, crickets, darkling ground beetles,
 Bait                            20 - 40 lb                    2           sowbugs
 4F                                  1 - 2 qt                  2

 Furadan® 4F                          1 pt                     7           European corn borers
 (carbofuran)



                                                                                                                   February 1999
Sweet Corn Production in Florida                                                                                        Page 7


 Table 8. Selected insecticides approved for use on insects attacking sweet corn.

    Chemical Name            Rate per Acre        Days to Harvest                              Insects

 Lorsban®            4EC         1 - 2 pt                 7            armyworms, beet armyworms, billbugs, chinch bugs,
 (chlorpyrifos)                                                        corn earworms, corn rootworms, cutworms,
                                                                       European corn borers, fall armyworms, fire ants, flea
 15G                        8 oz/1,000 ft row        at planting       beetles, grasshoppers, lesser cornstalk borers, maize
                                                                       billbugs, seed corn beetles, seed corn maggots,
                                                                       symphylans, white grubs, wireworms

 D.z.n.; AG-500 4EC              1 - 4 qt                              aphids, corn earworms, corn rootworms, cutworms,
 (Diazinon®)                                          pre plant
                                                                       flea beetles, grasshoppers, mites, sap beetles,
                                                                       seedcorn maggots, symphylans, wireworms
 14 G                           14 - 28 lb

 Thiodan® 3EC                   1.33 - 2 qt       1 (fresh use only)   aphids, corn earworms
 Phaser® (endosulfan)

 Telone® II; C-17               See label              preplant        symphylans, wireworms
 (dichloropropene)

 Asana® XL .66EC              2.9 - 9.6 fl oz             1            aphids, armyworms, beet armyworms, chinch bugs,
 (esfenvalerate)                                                       corn borers, corn earworms, corn rootworms,
                                                                       cutworms, European corn borers, flea beetles,
                                                                       grasshoppers, sap beetles, stalkborers, tarnished
                                                                       plant bugs

 Mocap® 10G                 12 oz/1,000 ft row       at planting       corn rootworms, cutworms, symphylans, white grubs,
 (ethoprop)                                                            wireworms

 Dyfonate® 10G              12 oz/1,000 ft row        preplant         corn rootworms, cutworms, European corn borers, fall
                                                                       armyworms, lesser cornstalk borers, maize billbugs,
  4EC, 15G, 20G, 2DG                                                   seedcorn maggots, symphylans, white grubs,
 (fonofos)                       see label                             wireworms

 Cythion® 5EC                    1 - 2 pt                 5            aphids, armyworms, budworms, corn rootworms,
 Malathion (malathion)                                                 grasshoppers, sap beetles, thrips, cereal leaf beetles

 Lannate® 2.4L                  0.5 - 3 pt             2 = ears        aphids, armyworms, beet armyworms, corn
 (methomyl)                                           3 = forage       earworms, corn rootworms, cutworms, European
                                                                       corn borers, fall armyworms, flea beetles, picnic
                                                                       beetles

 Methoxychlor 4L               1 - 2.25 pt                7            armyworms, fall armyworms, flea beetles
 (methoxychlor)2EC              see label

 Methyl parathion                2 - 4 pt                 3            aphids, armyworms, corn earworms, corn rootworms,
 Penncap®-M 2EC                                                        cutworms, European corn borers, flea beetles,
 (methyl parathion)                                                    grasshoppers, sap beetles

 Thimet® 20G (phorate)      6 oz/1,000 ft row       at planting or     flea beetles, mites, seedcorn beetles, seed corn
                                                     cultivation       maggots, white grubs, wireworms, corn rootworms

 Meta systox-R® 2EC             1.5 - 2 pt            7 = 1 appl       aphids, corn rootworms, leafhoppers, mites, thrips
 (oxydemeton-methyl)                                 21 = 2 appl

 Ambush® 2EC                    6.4 - 16 oz               1            armyworms, aster leafhoppers, corn earworms, corn
                                                                       rootworms cutworms, European corn borers, fall
 Pounce® 3.2EC                  4 - 10 oz                 1            armyworms, flea beetles, leafhoppers, southern
 (permethrin)                                                          armyworms, stalk borers

 Oil, insecticidal              See label                 0            aphids, armyworms, corn earworms, corn rootworms,
                                                                       mites, thrips


                                                                                                                 February 1999
Sweet Corn Production in Florida                                                                                              Page 8


 Table 8. Selected insecticides approved for use on insects attacking sweet corn.

      Chemical Name          Rate per Acre            Days to Harvest                               Insects

 Rotenox® EC                       1 gal                     ½           aphids, armyworms, aster leafhoppers, crickets,
 Rotacide® (rotenone)                                                    cutworms, fire ants, flea beetles, grasshoppers, leaf
                                                                         hoppers, thrips

 Soap, insecticidal             See label                    ½           armyworms, leafhoppers, mites, thrips, aphids

 Counter® 15G               8 oz/1,000 ft row            at planting     billbugs, chinch bugs, corn rootworms, European
 (terbufos)                                                              corn borers, flea beetles, lesser corn stalk borers,
                                                                         maize bill bugs, seed corn beetles, seed corn
 20CR                            6 oz rate                               maggots, symphylans, thrips, white grubs, wireworms,
                                                                         cutworms

 Larvin® 3.2EC                  20 - 30 oz                   ½           beet armyworms, cutworms, corn earworms,
                                 see label                               European corn borers, fall armyworms, southern
 DF                                                                      armyworms
 (thiodicarb)

 Karate® 1EC                 2.56 - 3.84 fl oz               1           aphids, aster leafhoppers, beet armyworms,
 Warrior® (lambda-                                                       cutworms, European corn borers, fall armyworms, flea
 cyhalothrin)                                                            beetles, grasshoppers, chinch bugs, corn earworms,
                                                                         corn rootworms, southern armyworms, tarnished
                                                                         plant bugs, mites

 Pyrellin® EC                    1 - 2 pt                    0           aphids, European corn borers, flea beetles,
 (pyrethrin + rotenone)                                                  leafhoppers, loopers, mites, thrips




 Table 9. Break-even production costs for sweet corn at various yield levels in the Dade County area, 1996 - 97.

                                                                                      Yield (crates/acre)

                                 Cost per acre                250          275               300              325            350

 Variable costs                            $1,162.10             $4.65      $4.23             $3.87            $3.58          $3.32

 Fixed costs                                 1,069.27             4.28         3.89              3.56             3.29         3.06

 Harvest cost/unit                                                2.88         2.88              2.88             2.88         2.88

 Total cost/unit                                                 11.81      11.00             10.31               9.75         9.26




 Table 10. Break-even production costs for sweet corn at various yield levels in the Palm Beach County area, 1996 - 97.

                                                                                  Yield (crates/acre)

                                 Cost per acre              200          225               250              275             300

 Variable costs                        $1,149.61             $5.75        $5.11             $4.60             $4.18           $3.83

 Fixed costs                               1,148.26           5.74         5.10              4.59              4.18            3.83

 Harvest cost/unit                                            2.75         2.75              2.75              2.75            2.75

 Total cost/unit                                             14.24        12.96             11.94             11.11           10.41




                                                                                                                         February 1999

				
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